- Worship Space. Obviously, you need space for worship services when you launch. We have always started every campus with two services. This helps us maximize space and gives people more options for both worship and serving. We are working in rural Illinois and tend to see about 300 at our launch Sunday which quickly levels off to about 200. Then we grow from there. So we look for room for those numbers.
- Children’s Ministry Space. Almost as important as worship space is ample room for quality children’s ministry and nursery. This is important at any church or campus but it’s especially important Read the rest of this entry
Our church is launching its sixth campus later this month in Charleston, IL. Since we’ve done this a few times before, other churches are asking us how you launch a new multisite campus. Here’s how we do it.
- Identify a multisite pastor. Our church uses a very leader-centric strategy. We do not start new campuses in the most “logical” places. We do not look at which outlying towns are the largest or where we already have the most members to form a core. We look for a leader with a passion and calling for a certain place and that is where we focus. I’ll write in a future blog on how to identify the right leader. For now, I’ll just give you the key principle. The primary training ground for future campus pastors (and church planters) is leading and multiplying small groups. That is where we look for success and proven leadership.
- Start small groups, gather people, and pray. We want to see a few small groups in a town or area before seriously considering a new campus. We also want to see a team of people who are praying for that community and the emerging work there. Besides regular home groups we often
Jesus often perplexed his followers. Perhaps the most befuddled we find them is in John 4. In that story, the disciples leave Jesus alone near an out-of-the-way town in backwoods Samaria in order to go grab some lunch. When they return they are startled to find him crossing religious, gender, and racial barriers to converse with a shady woman.
As they encourage him to dig into his lunch, he says: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!” (John 4:34-36, NLT)
On hearing this the disciples must have squinted their eyes and said to each other, “What is he talking about? I don’t see anything!” They must have thought: “An abundant harvest here? In this podunk place? Among Samaritans? It’s time we finish our lunches and hit the road to Galilee!”
But Jesus was right, of course, and he and his team ditched their original plans and stayed in Samaria for two more days where they saw many people come to Christ.
Our church is experiencing something similar. We are seeing Jesus’ Spirit do amazing things in unexpected, out-of-the-way places.